What is required to market residential developments to offshore buyers

What is required to market residential developments to offshore buyers
What is required to market residential developments to offshore buyers

From my direct involvement with many projects taken offshore, a well-established sales path is required for success; otherwise if the exercise is poorly managed or the resources underestimated it can be a costly mistake.

However, well-managed and resourced offshore marketing campaigns do provide a unique avenue to bolster sales in particular off-the-plan sales, usually ahead of general open market release. And in laying the ground work we should firstly look at some of the particular attributes to fuel a successful exhibition or campaign.

When looking at Asian markets in particular there is a proven appetite among buyers looking for early participation in new projects. They like to be among the first, if not the first buyers offered a product.

However this does not always mean that an entire project has to be held off-market ahead of any offshore release, because it is possible to sell simultaneously with the right platforms to manage multi-channel sales or take a preferred selection of apartments, with such apartments having been selected to meet the preferences of the individual off-shore target markets.

This is also in part achieved by the discreet use of buyer database targeting so that an environment is created through which it is possible to fine-tune the offer that is being made at, for example, invitation-only exhibitions. This depth of knowledge further underlines the role and importance of local partners.



These offshore exhibitions are also better planned to be project or location specific with the aim of attracting potential buyers who are already somewhat pre-qualified. A mix of different locations and varied product offerings can be difficult to promote.

Offshore exhibitions can also be built around an information or educational seminar format, driven by country- or project-specific research – possibly held ahead of the release any actual projects for sale. This can be a very productive format. Experience demonstrates very small details, if not understood, can discourage offshore buyers away from investing in foreign property markets. So what better way to overcome this hurdle than by educating and gaining a better understanding buyer concerns?

If market circumstances warrant, then participation in larger-scale general exhibitions can be justified, but I feel that there should be a clear need, as cost is can be a big issue. This includes not only the promoter’s fees but also the other direct expenses, which can make the event a very expensive exercise.

For Australian projects there is a greater acceptance of property exhibitions on a smaller scale in Asian markets, and they can be of great value. Many of the international real estate agency groups, including Colliers International, have well-established expertise in these areas. Even in buoyant times, a one–off venture into these markets would be difficult.

It is also important to keep in mind that in most external markets there can be a culture that expects that this will be “first bite” of any to these areas cannot be the best investment – due diligence is important!

There are a clear set of important steps that are required to successfully take projects offshore and to achieve a critical volume sales, each point needs to meticulously addressed.

Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of Colliers International.

Peter Chittenden

Peter Chittenden

Peter Chittenden is managing director for residential of Colliers International.

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